Bring Your Prospects Back With Retargeting AdsAlmost every single company that maintains a considerable web presence has tried paid advertising at some point. Paid advertising can be a great way of driving new traffic to your website, but it comes with a cost and it rarely has much in the way of a long term benefit.

In most cases, your visitors will click on a paid ad (costing you money), but will leave your website immediately or will spend very little time on your website.

What if there was a way to only show ads to people that had already visited your website or a specific page on your website?

Retargeting is when you “target” people that have already visited your website. You are essentially creating an audience containing people that have already visited certain pages on your website – keeping your company visible while they do their research on your product/industry.

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting ads rely on “cookies” to tell the retargeting company which visitors have been to your website before. When someone comes to your website and starts to browse, the retargeting service puts a cookie on their computer so it knows to show them retargeting ads in the future. When that visitor leaves your website and starts to go to other websites that accept advertising, the visitors sees your banner ads and is reminded of your company/website.

Some companies choose retargeting ads because of the subtle reminder to a past website visitor, but they are particularly useful if they a visitor left your website to compare other options and do further research.

Unlike regular paid search ads, retargeting ads are normally sold by the thousands of impressions.

Making an Effective Retargeting Ad

Since you can issue different retargeting banner ads based on specific web pages that people have visited, consider using different types of retargeting ads. For example:

  • Industry specialties – If you have pages on your website tailored to people in a given industry, you might wish to serve a retargeting banner ad that contains imagery or wording for that industry.
  • Specific service or product pages – If someone visits a specific page about a service or specialized product, you may retarget that visitor with a banner ad about that specific service or product.
  • Specific content offer – If someone visits a landing page for a white paper, guide or ebook and doesn’t download it, you may choose to retarget them with a banner ad for that same offer or a related blog post.

If someone visits your website and does become a lead by downloading something or contacting you, you may not want to retarget ads to that person. Most retargeting vendors recommend that you use some kind of “burn pixel” that eliminates the cookie from the browsers of people who have already converted on your website, avoiding serving the ads to people that are already in your database.

Pace and frequency is also important to effective retargeting. While you want to show an ad to someone often enough that they are reminded of your brand, you also don’t want to create the impression that you are stalking them across the internet.

Before you start a retargeting campaign, you should also know that some people complain about these ads since they imply some kind of web activity tracking, so be wary of your consumer reactions to the ads.

Retargeting for B2B Companies

Retargeting is a very popular tactic for B2C companies, especially those that sell products online. Many B2B companies could benefit from retargeting because of the long sales cycle B2B companies often experience.

When a sales cycle is 6+ months, your prospect may find your website early in that process, get the information they need, then leave. They may never come back. Retargeting those visitors almost guarantees that the prospect will get periodic reminders of your company and your products/services.